How does mechanical loading affect skeletal development? A multiscale and multimodal investigation

Project: ResearchInterdisciplinary research, International collaboration, National collaboration


The movement of a baby (foetus) in the womb is important for normal development of bones and joints. When a baby’s movement is reduced or restricted, their skeleton can develop abnormally, with smaller and weaker bones, as well as malformed joints and spine. While we already know that foetal movement is essential for normal formation of the skeleton and joints at the organ scale, we do not know how local mechanisms at the very small structural level are affected, e.g. how and to what extent movement affects development of cells or mineral crystals? This project examines these unknown questions using a range of novel high-resolution imaging methods using high-powered x-rays (synchrotron based), which have never before been applied to these tissues and structures. For example, it utlizes the new NanoMAX beamline at MAX-IV.
The project will identify and highlight the most important steps in early development of the skeleton, and how mechanical forces due to foetal movements influence each of them.
Effective start/end date2019/01/012020/12/31


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